History of the USS SCHENECTADY (LST 1185)
Prepared by Robert R. Scofield, former CIC officer
I have prepared this history of the USS SCHENECTADY (LST 1185) primarily
from Command Histories of the SCHENECTADY for each year that it was in
commission. Each Naval command is required to submit annually a “history” of the prior
year’s activity to the Naval Historical Center located at the Washington Navy Yard.
These Command Histories are available for review by the general public. However, this
history has been supplemented by information gathered from the internet, from
discussions with former SCHENECTADY crewmembers and from my personal files and
recollections of the time I was on the ship. I intend for this to be a “living” history, in
that it can be enhanced by new information. If anyone wants to add information, please
e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 302-654-9112.
I joined the SCHENECTADY on July 31, 1970 as an Ensign (fresh out of Officer
Candidate School) and was assigned duties as Combat Information Center (CIC) officer
with Division Officer responsibility for OI Division (ship’s office and medical
department personnel, the ship’s postal clerk, the quartermasters and the radarmen (rate
name later changed to Operations Specialist)). I was detached from the ship on August
I have organized this history by “captaincy” of each commanding officer.
However, dates are also important mileposts, so I have used red, bold font for the first
entry in each calendar year to help users who want to search the history by date rather
than by commanding officer. I have also highlighted each of the 12 Westpac
Deployments in red, bold font, as these were recurring, important events in the life of the
ship, and often remembered by crew members as defining times in their lives.
In writing this history, one significant fact became obvious to me.
SCHENECTADY was in commission from June, 1970 to December, 1993, a period of
162 months. During that time she made 12 Westpac deployments (essentially one each
year) which lasted a total of 80 months. That meant that she was in Westpac for virtually
50% of her commissioned life. To me, that is an extraordinary accomplishment, one that
demonstrates the capabilities of Navy personnel and material.
I have enjoyed writing this history. I hope that it gives some pleasure and insight
to anyone who takes the time to read it.
* * * * * *
Background and Pre-commissioning
SCHENECTADY was the 7th ship in the NEWPORT Class (USS NEWPORT
(LST 1179) being the first ship of this class) of Landing Ship Tanks (LST). This ship
class was a major design improvement from the prior LST design (which had originated
during World War II). A 35 ton bow ramp supported by two outstretched derrick arms
replaced the traditional bow doors as the major means of landing vehicles on a beach.
This design change also allowed the bow to be a pointed “destroyer type” bow rather than
the prior blunt bow, allowing this ship class to attain speeds in excess of 20 knots. This
increase in maximum speed would allow this new class of LST’s to operate with other
high speed amphibious force vessels. A second ramp allowed vehicles stored on the
lower or “tank” deck to drive up to the main deck and then down the main bow ramp to
the beach. NEWPORT class LST’s also had a stern gate which would allow loading and
offloading through the stern, a first for any class of LST’s.
There were other significant design features that made NEWPORT class LST’s
A bow thruster, or transversely mounted variable pitch propeller, was
mounted in the forward part of the hull, allowing fine maneuvering of the
vessel, which was particularly helpful when marrying to a causeway.1
The ships had two stacks which were offset and of unequal size to allow
the quickest and most direct passage of exhaust gases from engineering
spaces to the outside. This increased efficiency, but at the expense of
symmetry, a design standard in earlier ships.
The ships’ superstructures were pierced longitudinally to allow embarked
vehicles to be driven directly and easily from the bow area to the stern
area of the main deck.
The ships were equipped with a helicopter landing area on the after part of
the main deck, allowing NEWPORT class LST’s to participate in
helicopter landings as well as traditional “over the beach” landings.
The ships had unique variable pitch propellers. Speed was controlled by
varying the pitch and the number of revolutions of the propellers. These
were controlled by a unique joystick arrangement on the bridge which
directly controlled the pitch and number of revolutions. Both engineering
spaces had these control joysticks also, allowing direct propeller control
from the engineering spaces in case of a casualty on the bridge. These
joysticks controlled the pressure (pounds per square inch or PSI) within
the control system, with each PSI reading corresponding to a speed of the
ship. This resulted in standard commands for speed being given by the
command “on the lee helm, indicate 50 PSI”.
I remember one unusual and humorous incident involving the bow thruster. On board SCHENECTADY
we used standard commands such as “bow thruster LEFT 5”, which indicated that we wanted the bow to
move LEFT (by pushing water from the port to starboard sides of the ship). We had a seaman report to
SCHENECTADY who had served on another NEWPORT class LST. That ship used the same standard
command wording, but on that ship it meant to push the water LEFT, moving the bow to the right. This
caused no end of consternation on the bridge when he did as he was taught, and we found the bow moving
in the wrong direction. SCHENECTADY sent a message to higher authority recommending that standard
commands be developed for bow thrusters and these be communicated to all ships so that a command
meant the same thing on all ships.
SCHENECTADY was built by National Steel and Shipbuilding Company of San
Diego, CA. Her keel was laid on August 2, 1968 and she was launched in Long Beach,
CA on May 24, 1969 by Mrs. Charles E. Goodell, wife of New York Senator Charles E.
Goodell, with the traditional bottle of champagne, and named USS SCHENECTADY
after the city and county of Schenectady, NY.
The USS SCHENECTADY was the first ship of the fleet to be named after that
city and county. This was initiated by the fourth grade class of Franklin School in
Schenectady who wrote to the Secretary of the Navy suggesting that a ship might be
christened with that name. In June of 1968, Secretary Paul R. Ignatius sent the students a
telegram informing that the name USS SCHENECTADY had been assigned to a new
LST which would have hull number 1185.
At that time, Schenectady, NY was a city of 68,000 people, situated on the eastern
end of the Mohawk River, which connects the Great Lakes to the Hudson River. The
Mohawk is the only break in the Appalachian mountain chain between Canada and
Georgia, making it a major east/west thoroughfare throughout America’s history. Here
lie the Erie Canal and the first passenger railroad in the America’s. In Schenectady,
portions of the MONITOR were built as well as many locomotives of the railroad era.
Thomas Edison and Charles Steinmenz did much early work in the field of electricity in
Schenectady, and their collaboration eventually became the General Electric Company.
Captaincy of CDR David E. SIGSWORTH
Upon commissioning on June 13, 1970, the commissioning crew ran aboard and
CDR David E. Sigsworth assumed command. SCHENECTADY was assigned to
Amphibious Squadron 9, homeported in San Diego, CA. The SCHENECTADY
underwent sea trials, and in late June sailed to San Diego, arriving there on July 13. San
Diego would be her homeport for her entire naval service.
In August, 1970 SCHENECTADY sailed to San Francisco to further test her
readiness and to provide several days of rest and recreation for her crew. All this was
needed as the ship entered a four week Refresher Training on August 31.
SCHENECTADY received a rating of excellent for this training. In addition, the ship
underwent an unscheduled test on September 18 when it rescued four people stranded on
a small pleasure craft about 35 miles off the California coast.
From October 5 to October 10 SCHENECTADY completed final contractor
trials, after which the ship “belonged” completely to the Navy. Immediately following
these trials, SCHENECTADY was underway to escort the USS DEFIANCE (PG 95) and
USS SURPRISE (PG 97) to the Panama Canal. These two ships were refueled several
times at sea during the transit, and were detached on October 19 at the western entrance
to the Panama Canal. From there, SCHENECTADY turned back north to return to San
Diego, enjoying a 4 day port visit to Acapulco, Mexico enroute.
For the rest of 1970 SCHENECTADY was in upkeep in San Diego, with
occasional underway periods for local operations. One exciting day trip was a
Dependent’s Day Cruise on December 5.
Amphibious Refresher Training was the first thing scheduled for 1971. This
training included three weeks of various amphibious activities, including lowering boats,
controlling waves of assault craft (i.e. acting as Primary Control Vessel (PCV)), beaching
the ship and extending the bow ramp, marrying to causeways, and loading and launching
US Marine Corps LVT’s (Landing Vehicles Tracked) off the coast at Camp Pendleton.
SCHENECTADY received a grade of excellent for this evaluation.
From March 5 to March 15, SCHENECTADY was dry docked in San Diego as
part of her Post Shakedown Availability. General repair work and several class
modifications were accomplished during this 10 day period.
On May 5 SCHENECTADY was underway for Da Nang, Republic of Viet Nam
as part of Operation Keystone Oriole. This operation was to withdraw US Marine Corps
personnel and equipment from Viet Nam. During the transit to Viet Nam,
SCHENECTADY altered course to get closer to Hawaii to medevac an injured sailor to
the Naval Hospital in Pearl Harbor. After resuming her transit to Viet Nam,
SCHENECTADY was again forced to divert, this time to avoid Typhoon Carla. This
new track led her through the Taiwan Straits between Taiwan and mainland China, where
CDR Sigsworth assumed duties during the transit as Commander, Taiwan Straits Patrol.
SCHENECTADY arrived in Da Nang on May 24 and loaded the US Marines and their
vehicles. Later that day she was underway to Hong Kong to give the sailors and marines
some rest and recreation.
Enroute to Hong Kong SCHENECTADY had to divert to evade Typhoon Dinah,
but arrived at Hong Kong on May 26. From Hong Kong SCHENECTADY went to
Subic Bay, Philippine Islands to refuel, and then departed for San Diego, arriving on June
To prepare for her upcoming Westpac deployment scheduled for October 1, 1971,
SCHENECTADY again underwent Interim Refresher Training and took part in a large
scale amphibious landing exercise (Resmaulex) off Camp Pendleton where she acted as
the causeway transport unit.
On October 1, 1971 SCHENECTADY departed San Diego for her first Westpac
deployment as part of Amphibious Squadron Five, consisting of a total of 7 ships. After
a brief stop in Pearl Harbor and a brief upkeep period in Yokosuka, Japan,
SCHENECTADY proceeded to Okinawa for Marine LVT and wet net training.
On November 4, SCHENECTADY embarked Marine officers and was then
detached to steam to Guam and then on to Tinian Island, both in the Marianas Island
chain, where the Marine officers surveyed the island for possible military use. Following
this, SCHENECTADY returned to Okinawa and loaded 4 diesel electric generating plants
and associated equipment which were to be donated by the United States government to
the Republic of the Philippines. In Manila, on November 23, Philippine President
Ferdinand Marcos came on board to officially accept this equipment for his rural
After the ceremony SCHENECTADY proceed to Subic Bay and loaded 176 US
Marines and their equipment to be part of Amphibious Ready Group Alfa (ARG Alfa).
For the rest of the year SCHENECTADY and her embarked Marines operated in the
South China Sea and visited Sasebo, Japan2; Subic Bay, PI and Hong Kong (where her
crew celebrated the New Year).
Captaincy of CDR Raymond J. Czar
On February 29, 1972, while in Subic Bay, RP, CDR Raymond J. Czar relieved
CDR David E. Sigsworth as Commanding Officer.
SCHENECTADY was pleased to be able to make a port visit during the period
March 10 to 17 to Kagoshima Japan, a city in Southwest Japan. SCHENECTADY was
the first US Naval vessel to visit Kagoshima in many, many years, and her crew was very
warmly welcomed by the local population.
On March 30, 1972, the North Vietnamese Army launched a renewed offensive
across the DMZ in the course of the War in Viet Nam. This necessitated an increased
naval presence in the Viet Nam area, resulting in a three month extension in the planned
deployment of SCHENECTADY, from a planned return in mid April to an actual return
in mid July.
SCHENECTADY had been scheduled to leave Subic and participate in a joint
exercise with South Korean forces. On March 29 she had left Subic and had
rendezvoused with the USS CALIENTE (AO 56) to load enough fuel for the exercise.
She was alongside CALIENTE on March 30 when she received orders to proceed at
maximum speed to the Gulf of Tonkin.
At this time, SCHENECTADY was the only LST in ARG Alfa and carried 130
Marine personnel and their equipment. This Marine unit was the Logistic Support Unit
for the 31st Marine Amphibious Unit.
SCHENECTADY stayed underway for a total of 40 days, 34 of which were in the
combat zone of the Gulf of Tonkin. She then returned to Subic for 8 days of upkeep
before returning to the Gulf of Tonkin for another three and a half weeks. After this time,
the ships of ARG Alfa steamed to Okinawa to offload Marine Battalion Landing Team
I remember clearly this visit to Sasebo, since the Navy offered guided tours of nearby Nagasaki, Japan,
the site of the second atomic bomb to be dropped during WWII on Japan. We visited the monument at
“ground zero” and a museum containing the history of that bombing. The signage was all in Japanese, and
it was very disquieting for me as an American to be there surrounded by Japanese, reading signs in
Japanese, knowing that it was my country that had dropped the bomb.
(BLT) 3/4 and load BLT 1/9. This was accomplished in less than 48 hours, after which
the ships of ARG “A” steamed back to the Gulf of Tonkin for an additional 3 weeks of
During this time in the war zone, SCHENECTADY participated in 4 amphibious
assault operations in support of the Republic of Viet Nam’s counter offensive to try to
regain Quang Tri Provence, which had been lost to the North Vietnamese Army (NVA)
during the NVA’s initial offensive. During the operation on June 29, SCHENECTADY
was taken under fire by shore batteries on Hon Cio Island. Approximately 50 rounds fell
close aboard and overhead, one possibly striking the stern gate shoes underwater.
SCHENECTADY returned fire with 24 rounds from her 3”/50 main batteries and in
doing so became the first NEWPORT class LST to return fire in a combat situation. She
earned the Combat Action Ribbon that day, and several crew members received awards
for their performance.
On July 14, 1972 SCHENECTADY was detached and preceded home, arriving
on August 6 to a warm welcome from family and friends.
Between August 6 and October 14, SCHENECTADY was in a lengthy upkeep
period. Between October 14 and 28, SCHENECTADY carried the observing party for
Amphibious Landing Exercise 5-72 in northern California.
In December, SCHENECTADY transited to Acapulco, MX for a port visit.
During the passage, the remains of four former Naval personnel and the wife of a retired
Naval officer were scattered at sea in a ceremony conducted by the Amphibious
Squadron 5 Chaplain.
January 1973 found SCHENECTADY participating in Amphibious Landing
Exercise 1-73 (Exercise Bell Hammer) at Camp Pendleton. During this exercise
SCHENECTADY carried 4 causeway sections, 11 LVT’s and 250 Marine personnel.
She also married to the causeway to offload cargo and pumped over 60,000 gallons of
simulated fuel to bladders on the beach via a 3,000 foot long floating pipeline.
February saw SCHENECTADY underway for San Francisco where most of the
crew attended fire fighting and damage control schools, and a gunnery exercise was held
on the range at San Clemente Island.
March and April were spent in port getting ready for Interim Refresher Training
which started on May 15, ending on May 25, and for Amphibious Refresher Training
which was held from June 5 to June 17. An annual Supply inspection and an Insurv
inspection were held back to back from July 17 to July 28.
By my rough calculation, the ship was at sea for 86 out of 96 days. I personally remember this period of
time. Everyone became very tired and a bit short of temper. It was a time of great stress, but one that the
crew carried off well.
On July 28, SCHENECTADY, having undergone many days of training and
inspection, started full preparation for its next overseas deployment. Part of that
preparation was a family cruise on August 3 to help families of crewmembers understand
what their loved ones would be doing for the next several months.
Captaincy of CRD K. L. Matteson
On August 22, 1973 while SCHENECTADY was in San Diego, CDR K. L.
Matteson relieved CDR Raymond J. Czar as Commanding Officer.
One week later, August 29, 1973 SCHENECTADY got underway for her second
Westpac deployment. After a brief stop at Pearl Harbor for fuel and a pre-deployment
conference, SCHENECTADY sailed for Okinawa where she offloaded and back loaded
In September SCHENECTADY sailed for the Philippines where she practiced an
amphibious assault on Green Beach at the Zambales Exercise Area. She then
immediately joined with other US and Philippine navy ships to participate in Pagasa II
Phiblex. This exercise was terminated early due to Typhoon Nora, and
SCHENECTADY sailed for Okinawa to offload Marines and their vehicles. The same
day other Marine vehicles were loaded, and SCHENECTADY sailed for Numazu, Japan
where she beached and offloaded the vehicles, then back loaded other vehicles.
On October 15, SCHENECTADY loaded LVT’s in Okinawa which had been
purchased by the Chinese Nationalist government in Taiwan. These vehicles were turned
over to the Nationalist Chinese on October 17 in Tsoying Harbor, Taiwan. This was
repeated when additional LVT’s purchased by Taiwan were loaded in Okinawa and
delivered on November 17 in Tsoying.
SCHENECTADY then went to Hong Kong for R&R, after which she picked up
Marines and their vehicles in Okinawa and offloaded them on the beach at Numazu,
Japan. After that, Philippine Marines were loaded and taken to Subic Bay. The ships and
embarked Philippine Marines participated in a joint two day landing exercise in Okinawa,
and a second exercise in the Zambales Operations area, Subic Bay, after which
SCHENECTADY moored in Subic Bay where she would stay through the New Year.
On January 9, 1974, SCHENECTADY loaded Marines and their equipment and
then departed for Hong Kong on the morning of January 10. In Hong Kong, the crew
enjoyed 5 days of liberty. Following that she got underway for Chi Lung, Taiwan, and,
On January 27, SCHENECTADY left Okinawa in company with USS DENVER
(LPD 9), USS TUSCALOOSA (LST 1187), USS WORDEN (DLG 18), USS MARVIN
SHIELDS (DE 1066) and USS BAGLEY (DE 1069) to sail for Pohang Hang, South
Korea where this fleet joined with units of the South Korean navy for 8 days of joint
SCHENECTADY then sailed to Okinawa, where on February 11 she departed in
company with USS DENVER (LPD 9) and USS TUSCALOOSA (LST 1187) to transit
back to San Diego. On February 16 USS TUSCALOOSA transferred engine parts to
SCHENECTADY by light line while alongside, and then SCHENECTADY was
detached to rendezvous with USS CAYUGA (LST 1186). After meeting CAYUGA,
SCHENECTADY high-lined two CAYUGA personnel on board for purposes of
emergency leave, and took them to Midway Island on February 19.
SCHENECTADY then set sail again for San Diego, but on February 21 she went
dead in the water due to fuel contamination. USS DENVER delivered fuel to
SCHENECTADY and the two ships proceeded in company to Pearl Harbor. After 4 days
of liberty, SCHENECTADY headed for San Diego, arriving on March 6.
After a one month stand down, SCHENECTADY started a period of training in
the Southern California operations areas. On June 17 while underway off Southern
California, SCHENECTADY sustained a spring bearing failure on the port shaft. Repair
of this bearing took from June 20 to July 11.
Following this, SCHENECTADY sailed to San Francisco for fire fighting training
for the entire crew.
On August 3 and 4, SCHENECTADY moved to the Broadway Pier at San Diego
where she was a “Public Visit Ship”.
On September 3, SCHENECTADY commenced her first regular overhaul, a $3.7
million contract with Triple A South Company. This overhaul included a period in dry
dock from October 5 until November 27. This overhaul was completed in February,
From April 1 until May 19, SCHENECTADY underwent Refresher Training,
passed her annual supply inspection and completed Amphibious Refresher Training.
From May 20 until June 16, SCHENECTADY served as flagship for RADM Rogerson,
Comphibgrueastpac, as well as passing a Force 3-M inspection and a Command
On June 30, SCHENECTADY embarked 16 Redwood City California dignitaries
and 30 Salt Lake City Utah boy scouts for transit to Redwood City, CA. At Redwood
City, SCHENECTADY hosted over 5,000 visitors during a three day open house.
Captaincy of M. H. V. Nolan
On July 19, 1975 while in San Diego, CDR M. H. V. Nolan relieved CDR K. L.
Matteson as Commanding Officer.
For the rest of July, August and September, SCHENECTADY prepared for her
third Westpac deployment. Then, on October 4, 1975 SCHENECTADY got underway
with other units of Phibron 7, including USS JUNEAU (LPD 10), USS STERETT (DLG
31), USS ST. LOUIS (LKA 116), USS BRISTOL COUNTY (LST 1198), USS ALAMO
(LSD 33) and USS CAYUGA (LST 1186). After the usual stop in Pearl Harbor for a
pre-deployment conference, SCHENECTADY proceeded to Kwajalein, Marshall Islands
to load 4 house trailers as part of an opportune lift.
SCHENECTADY took these trailers to Subic Bay, conducting underway
replenishments with USS MARS (AFS 1) and USS PASSUMPSIC (AO 107) along the
way. SCHENECTADY delivered these trailers, then loaded Marines and their vehicles
for transit to Okinawa.
For the rest of 1975, SCHENECTADY was involved in many transits within
Westpac including Yokosuka, Japan, Numazu, Japan and Subic Bay. On December 18,
SCHENECTADY visited Beppu, Japan for a port visit lasting 4 days. Then she transited
to Sasebo, where she was for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
In January, 1976, SCHENECTADY performed several opportune lifts, visiting
Iwakuni, Japan; Okinawa; Keelung, Taiwan; and Subic Bay. Then on January 28th she
was underway to Numazu, Japan to load a unit of a Marine battalion. She carried the unit
to Guam and Tinian where she conducted a UDT beach survey in preparation for exercise
Quick Jab IV and a Raidex. During these two exercises, the crew also participated in
numerous civic action projects, including: clearing and extending a beach area, clearing
a cave near the village of San Jose for use as a typhoon shelter, painting (inside and out) a
community recreation center, splicing 4 wire slings for the public works department, and
donating books and sports equipment to a public school. The SCHENECTADY hosted a
dinner aboard for 10 local officials, and the community reciprocated with a dinner hosted
by the mayor for 11 USN and USMC officers. In addition, SCHENECTADY hosted a
picnic for the people of the island with over 500 attending.
After an upkeep period in Guam, SCHENECTADY transited between Kaohsiung
Taiwan and Subic Bay. In March, she participated along with USS ALAMO (LSD 33),
USS JUNEAU (LPD 10), and USS CAYUGA (LST 1186) and 3 Philippine naval vessels
in a Resmaulex exercise and a gun shoot. Following this the ship went to Hong Kong for
a port visit.
Following this port visit, SCHENECTADY participated in loading and off-
loading various Marine units and additional opportune lifts between Okinawa; Numazu,
Japan; Iwakuni, Japan; Sasebo, Japan; and Inchon, South Korea.
On May 7th, SCHENECTADY began her transit home at the end of her Westpac
cruise. She arrived home May 25th. As was typical for ships returning from a long
deployment, she stayed in port for about two months for leave and upkeep.
In late July SCHENECTADY steamed to San Clemente Island and qualified in
two gunnery exercises. She then returned to port for additional training and crew rotation
to prepare her for her next Westpac deployment. She got underway on October 13 for
sea trials, but engineering difficulties required her to return to port for additional work.
On December 4th she completed dock trials, and then commenced Refresher Training on
December 7th, which she successfully completed on December 16th. She remained in port
for the rest of the year.
January 1977 started quickly with preparation for Amphibious Refresher
Training which was conducted from January 3 to January 7, but due to bad weather, the
training was cut short. Then on January 17, Comphibron Seven’s Command Inspection
was held and on February 1 a full power test was successfully completed. From February
4th to February 10th the INSURV Inspection was held which noted but one mission
On February 14th SCHENECTADY continued Amphibious Refresher Training
including LVT operations with Marines at Camp Pendleton. During this time the Chief
of Naval Operations of the Brazilian Navy visited SCHENECTADY to observe LVT
After Amphibious Refresher Training was completed, SCHENECTADY had a
busy schedule to make final preparations for her next overseas deployment, including
having her bottom cleaned on March 17th. She also loaded causeways and a detachment
On March 29, 1977 SCHENECTADY got underway for her fourth Westpac
deployment with the ships of Phibron Seven: USS TUSCALOOSA (LST 1187) , USS
CAYUGA (LST 1186), USS ST. LOUIS (LKA 116), USS JUNEAU (LPD 10), USS
ALAMO (LSD 33) and USS ANCHORAGE (LSD 36). After stopping in Pearl Harbor,
she was underway for Eniwetok Atoll, arriving on April 14 with USS ST. LOUIS, USS
ANCHORAGE and USS ALAMO to offload causeways in support of the Army’s
cleanup of the island.
SCHENECTADY left Eniwetok, arriving in Guam on April 20th.
Captaincy of LCR David R. Pauling
While in Guam during the period from May 8th to 11th, 1977 LCR David R.
Pauling, the ship’s Executive Officer, relieved CDR M. H. V. Nolan as commanding
officer. CDR Nolan departed for San Diego on emergency leave.
On May 11th, SCHENECTADY departed for Okinawa. While underway she
sustained an engineering casualty, and spent from May 15 to May 17 having the problem
repaired in Okinawa. She left Okinawa on May 17th and went to Beppu, Japan for a 4
day port visit. When she left Beppu, she steamed to Subic Bay to assume a causeway
commitment for the USS CAYUGA who had sustained an engineering casualty. She
carried these causeways from Subic Bay to Yokosuka, Japan. Following this
unscheduled assignment, SCHENECTADY transited throughout Westpac including
Okinawa; Numazu, Japan; Inchon, Korea; and Sasebo, Japan. During this time
SCHENECTADY embarked 5 Midshipmen for their midshipman cruise.
Captaincy of CDR Dennis E. Newman
While underway from Numazu, Japan to Sasebo, Japan on June 29, 1977 CDR
Dennis E. Newman relieved LCR David R. Pauling as Commanding Officer.
SCHENECTADY arrived in Sasebo and the 5 midshipmen and LCDR Pauling
departed the ship. On July 7th SCHENECTADY was underway for Amphibious Exercise
Sang Yong VI with the Korean armed forces off Pohang, Korea (a city on the eastern
coast of South Korea). From the period of July 8th to 13th, SCHENECTADY participated
in that scheduled exercise.
However, on July 10, 1977, during an amphibious landing exercise, Marine
Private Keith A. Anderson of BLT 3/9, USMC was mortally wounded during a fight on
the mess decks by Marine Private Timothy P. Ware, USMC. Private Ware was
apprehended and transferred immediately to the flagship. He was subsequently court
marshaled, convicted of murder and sentenced to 8 years imprisonment in a Federal
Following this tragedy and the completion of the amphibious exercise,
SCHENECTADY transited to Sasebo. She then departed for Guam but had to divert to
Okinawa to medivac an injured marine, after which she continued to Guam. On July 25
SCHENECTADY departed for Tinian to conduct a single ship amphibious raid operation.
At the completion of this exercise, SCHENECTADY crewmembers and embarked
Marines conducted a visit ship on July 27th and 28th and completed many civic action
projects. This effort was recognized by a proclamation of thanks from the Tinian Town
Counsel, and also by RADM D. S. Cruden, Commander Naval Forces Marianas. After a
three day port visit in Saipan, SCHENECTADY then went to Guam for upkeep.
After this, SCHENECTADY visited Subic Bay, Hong Kong and Keelung,
Taiwan. While underway from Keelung to Yokosuka, the ship encountered a previously
unreported violent storm which caused minor damage to the port bow bulwark. This
damage was repaired at Yokosuka.
SCHENECTADY then transited to Numazu, Japan, then on to Okinawa and then
to Subic Bay. While underway to Subic, SCHENECTADY (and the USS JUNEAU
(LPD 10) with which SCHENECTADY was in company) had to follow a storm evasion
track to avoid super typhoon Babe. This resulted in an extremely rough transit, but no
damage was incurred. While in Subic Bay, SCHENECTADY had an extended period of
upkeep interrupted by sea trials. In addition, VADM C. R. Bryan, Commander Naval
Sea Systems Command visited SCHENECTADY for a discussion of Newport class LST
problems and a “deck plate” tour.
SCHENECTADY then transited to Mindoro, Philippines to deliver the
“aggressor” force for Operation Fortress Lightning, and then transited to Okinawa where
she rendezvoused with over 30 ships of Phibron Five and Phibron Seven, plus other
assorted command and escort ships to participate in Fortress Lightning. While underway,
SCHENECTADY participated in various exercises, and, after arriving at Paluan Beach,
Mindoro, participated in two rehearsal landings. She then transited to the Amphibious
Objective Area on Mindoro and helped land the amphibious exercise force. She also
delivered fuel for the landing force, acted as secondary control ship for boat operations,
loaded marines and causeways and transported opportune lifts to Subic Bay.
After completion of the exercise, SCHENECTADY transited to Okinawa where
she loaded Marines and rendezvoused with other ships of Phibron Seven for the transit
back to San Diego. This transit started on October 29th, in company with the USS
TUSCALOOSA (LST 1187), USS ST. LOUIS (LKA 116) and the USS CAYUGA (LST
1186). She stopped at Hawaii and welcomed aboard twenty “tigers” -- male dependants
of crew members who had flown to Hawaii from San Diego for the transit from Hawaii to
After arriving in San Diego on November 17, 1977 SCHENECTADY had an
upkeep, leave and holiday period for the rest of the year.
1978 was a year of stateside duty for SCHENECTADY, consisting of upkeep
periods and operations in local op-areas. One of the highlights was conducting helicopter
qualifications for pilots of two helicopter squadrons, necessitating a total of 64 landings
and takeoffs. On March 4 and 5, SCHENECTADY was in San Francisco where she held
open houses both days at Fisherman’s Wharf.
From March 13th to 21st, SCHENECTADY underwent a mini-overhaul period
during which time #1 MP air compressor was overhauled, #1B main engine was fitted
with a re-bored camshaft, the reduction gear attached lube oil pumps were modified, #1
ships service diesel generator was re-balanced, the turbocharger was replaced, all top side
spaces and weather decks were repainted and the helicopter deck was resurfaced.
On June 17th and 18th the ship conducted an open house in Monterrey CA. Over
2,000 visitors came aboard, all of whom had to come to and from the ship in one of the
ship’s four amphibious assault boats.
From July 10th to 19th SCHENECTADY joined 30 other amphibious ships along
with over 300 marines in a large scale amphibious exercise at Camp Pendleton.
On July 20th, SCHENECTADY and USS RACINE (LST 1191) left San Diego for
a high speed run to Mazatlan, MX where the crew enjoyed liberty.
From August 14th to September 1st, SCHENECTADY underwent Amphibious
Refresher Training and from October 23rd to November 3rd she underwent Interim
Refresher Training, during which the gunnery department earned the Gunnery E for
SCHENECTADY commenced 1979 with extensive upkeep and training for her
next scheduled Westpac deployment. On March 1, she left San Diego on her fifth
Westpac deployment as part of Amphibious Squadron Seven along with USS
TARAWA (LPH 1), USS DENVER (LPD 9), USS ST. LOUIS (LKA 116), USS FORT
FISHER (LSD 40) and USS BARBOUR COUNTY (LST 1195) under the command of
Commodore F. L. Roach. On March 9, the squadron arrived in Pearl Harbor.
SCHENECTADY and the other units of PHIBRON 7 sortied from Pearl Harbor
on Monday, March 12. They transited to the small Hawaiian Island of Kahoolawe when
they engaged in an amphibious training exercise. During this exercise the TARAWA
conduced launch and recovery operations with the Marine Corps new AV 8 Harrier
vertical take off and land jet aircraft. After this exercise, the squadron returned to Pearl
On March 17, SCHENECTADY and the other units of PHIBRON 7 left Pearl
Harbor, underway for Eniwetak Island. However, two days out of Pearl Harbor
SCHENECTADY sustained a reduction gear casualty which put the port shaft out of
commission. She was detached from the squadron and returned to Pearl for repairs,
escorted by the USS ST. LOUIS (LKA 116). She returned to Pearl on one shaft at a
maximum speed of 10 knots. Repairs took 6 ½ days, after which she again departed
Pearl, enroute to Okinawa, on March 27th. On March 29, however, she sustained a
casualty to the starboard screw controllable pitch system, a casualty completely unrelated
to the previous casualty. Again, she returned to Pearl on one shaft, arriving on March
Finally, on April 6, SCHENECTADY got underway from Pearl Harbor for
Westpac. She crossed the 180th meridian on about midnight, April 10. She arrived at
Okinawa on April 19 and embarked Marines currently deployed in the Pacific. With
these Marines, she conducted training exercises, and then transited to Tinian to load
vehicles and cargo so she could participate in Operation Quick Jab XV near Guam. On
May 12, SCHENECTADY hosted COMNAVMARIANAS and the Lieutenant Governor
of Guam for an Armed Forces Day Celebration. During this day she conducted a ship’s
open house for several hundred visitors.
On May 17, SCHENECTADY participated in Operation Quick Jab XV, a three
day amphibious raid exercise off the coast of Tinian. After conducting another ship’s
open house for the residents of nearby Saipan, the ship got underway to conduct
surveillance operations throughout the Northern Marianas Trust Territory Islands.
During this time SCHENECTADY sailed past 10 volcanic islands of this Trust Territory
looking for unauthorized ships, boats or aircraft. In addition, SCHENECTADY visited
three inhabited islands to check on the health and well being of the people.
Crewmembers delivered supplies and provided repair services for their radios, generators
and other equipment. After this operation, SCHENECTADY sailed to Subic Bay for
SCHENECTADY left Subic on June 10th and made a three day visit to Hong
Kong, after which she went to Okinawa to offload her Marines and their vehicles. She
then departed for Numazu, Japan, rendezvousing with the USS DENVER (LPD 9),
flagship of Amphibious Ready Group Bravo half way there to conduct exercises along
the track. Once at Numazu, she offloaded 250 Marines and their equipment.
Departing Numazu on June 21, SCHENECTADY went to Okinawa where she
participated in eleven days of exercises with the other ships of Amphibious Squadron
Seven. The training culminated in the Amphibious Ready Group Bravo Professional
Olympics, which pitted crewmembers of all the ships in competitive events designed to
test the professional skills needed to operate amphibious ships. After the exercise,
SCHENECTADY exchanged vehicles with the USS BARBOUR COUNTY (LST 1195)
and became a member of Amphibious Ready Group Alfa.
Following this training exercise, SCHENECTADY transited to Pusan, Korea
along with the COMPHIBRON SEVEN flagship USS TARAWA for a four day port
visit. After this visit she went to Okinawa and then onto Subic Bay.
Captaincy of CDR F. A. Giorgio, Jr.
While inport Subic Bay, R.P. on July 31, 1979, CDR F. A. Giorgio, Jr. relieved
CDR D. E. Newman as Commanding Officer.
Twelve days later, SCHENECTADY left Subic for sea trials and for causeway
operations. She then participated in Exercise MAFLEX 2-79, Operation Fortress Gale,
by conducting several major amphibious landings, helicopter operations and simulated
On August 31, SCHENECTADY completed her Westpac deployment and
departed for San Diego, arriving on September 21st.
During the balance of the year, SCHENECTADY was in port for upkeep or
operating in local Southern Californian waters. A highlight of this was, however, that she
got underway six times in the period from November 28 to December 4 to support the
Marble Arch Film Productions movie “Raise the Titanic”.
On January 3, 1980, SCHENECTADY got underway for Long Beach, CA to
commence her second overhaul in a decade of service. During this overhaul the six main
engines and the three ships service generators were shipped to the ALCO plant in
Auburn, NY for refit, the UHF radio transceivers were upgraded and new navigation
radar was installed. The ship was in dry dock from March 17 to May 13, during which
time the underwater hull was cleaned and preserved, work was accomplished on the sea
valves and fittings, the bow thruster was checked and repaired, and the screws and shafts
were removed for repair. Unfortunately a 77 day strike interfered with this overhaul, and
the overhaul ended in October. November was devoted to dock and sea trials, and the
overhaul was completed on November 25.
The remainder of November and December was devoted to rest and upkeep as
well as training exercises. She acted as the enemy force missile ship firing drone air
targets for other units to track and destroy.
January and February 1981 were spent testing and having readiness inspections
for the post-overhaul period. She commenced Refresher Training on February 11th,
followed by Amphibious Refresher Training from March 28 to May 4. She then
participated in Exercise Kernal User from May 4 to 15 along with other units of Phibron
3, conducting rehearsals and a final assault at Camp Pendleton.
On June 24, 1981 SCHENECTADY sailed for her sixth Westpac deployment
along with PHIBRON 3. She embarked Marines and their vehicles in Pearl Harbor and
then participated in Amphibious Landing Exercise Bell Volcano 81-2, during which she
had two separate landings on Kahoolawe, Island, northwest of Hawaii.
She then sailed to Okinawa to participate in Amphibious Exercise Valiant Usher
81-6 with other elements of PHIBRON 3.
Captaincy of CDR J. W. Athanson
On August 12, 1981 CRD J. W. Athanson relieved CDR F. A. Giorgo, Jr. as
On August 21st, SCHENECTADY and other ships of the Amphibious Ready
Group got underway for Mombasa, Kenya via the straits of Malacca. While there, she
enjoyed liberty in Mombasa, and participated in Amphibious Landing Exercise Valiant
Usher 81-9. This exercise involved a classic landing of men and equipment on the
SCHENECTADY then steamed to Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory
(B. I. O. T.) where she provisioned and obtained spare parts. On September 21
SCHENECTADY was underway for Northwest Cape, Australia.
SCHENECTADY visited Exmouth Bay, Northwest Cape, Albany, Western
Australia and Sydney, Australia, and then participated in Operation Kangaroo-81, a joint
exercise with US, Australian and New Zealand air, surface and sub-surface naval units at
Shoalwater by Queensland.
Following this exercise, SCHENECTADY went to Subic Bay by transiting
through the Great Barrier Reef. For this transit, a pilot was embarked, and the ship was at
special navigation detail for 3 continuous days. Hurricane Irma forced SCHENECTADY
to sortie prematurely from Subic on November 23, and she then went to Hong Kong for a
port visit. On November 30, SCHENECTADY sailed for Pearl Harbor, but had a rough
transit, arriving on December 15. She offloaded her Marines and their equipment, and
then completed her transit to San Diego, arriving on December 23.
Having just returned from Westpac, SCHENECTADY was surprised to be
advised on January 9, 1982 that she might be called on to get underway on short notice
as part of an emergency dispersal. At that time 35% of her crew was on leave. On
January 10 SCHENECTADY began to recall her crew, and make preparations to get
underway. On January 12, with only approximately 75% of her crew onboard, she got
underway with other units of Amphibious Squadron 3 and awaited further orders.
Once underway, SCHENECTADY was directed to participate in a large
amphibious assault titled Kernel Usher/Egress 82-1 whose mission was to test the
amphibious ready force’s short notice reaction time and to test their ability to land troops
and evacuate refugees under hostile fire. On January 13, SCHENECTADY was at Camp
Pendleton to load troops and equipment of Battalion Landing Team 1/3. The exercise
concluded on January 22 and SCHENECTADY returned to San Diego.
From February 5 to March 30 SCHENECTADY had a restricted availability
along USS AJAX (AR 6). She had prepared well for this availability as she was the only
ship out of 10 ships that had availability during this fiscal year to submit 100% complete
work packages prior to the start of the period.
Following the time alongside AJAX, SCHENECTADY continued her restricted
availability for the months of April and May. She had sea trials on June 9-10.
On July 5 SCHENECTADY got underway for Amphibious Refresher Training.
She completed this on July 22, and then had Interim Refresher Training at sea from
August 2 to August 13. Following this she had an assessment by the Navy Food
Management Team, earning outstanding marks.
On August 30, SCHENECTADY was ordered to sea, again with no destination
given. Once at sea, she was informed that she was to sail to the North Pacific to perform
two weeks of surveillance of a Soviet Intelligence gathering ship (AGI). She arrived on
station on September 3, five miles west of Cape Flattery near Seattle, Washington. A
special photographer’s mate was attached for this duty. For two weeks
SCHENECTADY remained in visual range of the Soviet ship as she traveled over 300
miles west of the Washington coast or on a north-south axis along the
Washington/Oregon coast. The Soviet ship always returned to the Cape Flattery area,
On September 15, SCHENECTADY was relieved by USS FLORIKAN (ASR 9)
and preceded to Coos Bay, Oregon for the annual Coos Bay “Fun Festival”. During her
stay over 5,000 people toured SCHENECTADY.
On October 12 SCHENECTADY was underway with 9 other ships for San
Francisco to participate in the San Francisco Fleet Week. She was part of the parade of
ships under the Golden Gate, passing under the bridge at 1112, October 15. After this
visit, SCHENECTADY returned to San Diego, arriving on October 21.
On November 13, SCHENECTADY got underway for Pearl Harbor to participate
in Exercise Kernel Usher 83-1 with a deck full of vehicles to lift to Hawaii. Ships in
company included ships from PHIBRON 3 and other non-amphibious units, including:
USS NEW ORLEANS (LPH 11) (with flag embarked), USS VANCOUVER (LPD 2),
USS DURHAM (LKA 114), USS MT. VERNON (LSD 39), USS BROOKE (DEG 1),
USS RAMSEY (DEG 2/FFG 2) and USS WORDEN (CG 18). The ships arrived in Pearl
Harbor but two days later SCHENECTADY, NEW ORLEANS and VANCOUVER had
to leave harbor to avoid Hurricane Iwa. The ships steamed to an area north of Molokai to
gain protection from the lee of the island, encountering 35-45 degree rolls while
underway. SCHENECTADY returned to Pearl Harbor on November 24, and spent
Thanksgiving in Pearl Harbor.
On November 26 SCHENECTADY picked up 110 Marines and their equipment
and got underway the next day for a raid exercise at Bellows Beach, Oahu, Hawaii.
However, the exercise was cancelled due to high seas and SCHENECTADY
rendezvoused with the Amphibious Task Force to participate in a major assault exercise
on Kahoolawe Island. During this exercise, SCHENECTADY’s role was to deploy
sonobuoys to sweep areas of the amphibious operation area for possible hostile
submarine threats. Results were marginal due to the high seas, but it was determined that
NEWPORT class LST’s could perform this function.
SCHENECTADY returned to San Diego for a repair, upkeep and holiday period
until the end of the year. However, during this transit SCHENECTADY had a safety
“stand-down” day when the entire crew was involved with a full day of lectures and
training on various safety equipment, safety procedures, dangerous substance rooms and
On January 30, 1983, SCHENECTADY departed for her seventh Westpac
deployment along with units of PHIBRON 3 including USS NEW ORLEANS (LPH 11),
USS DURHAM (LKA 114), USS BARBOUR COUNTY (LST 1195), USS DENVER
(LPD 9), USS VANCOUVER (LPD 2) and an escort ship, USS RAMSEY (DEG 2/FFG
2. After a stop in Pearl Harbor, SCHENECTADY rendezvoused with USS
TUSCALOOSA (LST 1187) in mid-ocean for a turn over of Seventh Fleet duties as part
of the Amphibious Special Operations Group. Following this, she steamed to Yokohama,
but experienced heavy weather on February 17 (50 knots of true wind across her deck)
and she reversed course to ease the effects of the high winds. As was typical with
SCHENECTADY, she experienced rolls of 25-35 degrees during this heavy weather. On
February 20 she was able to resume course and made Yokohama on February 22.
SCHENECTADY then entered a busy month of loading and offloading Marines
and their equipment and steaming to Okinawa, Pohang, Korea, and back to Okinawa.
On March 5, SCHENECTADY was underway with Commander Amphibious
Squadron 3 and other units for an amphibious rehearsal in preparation for Operation
Team Spirit 83, a combined exercise with US and Republic of South Korea forces.
During this time SCHENECTADY joined with units of the USS MIDWAY (CV 41) and
USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) battle groups and became a unit of CTG 77. After
extensive preparations, the task force returned to Tok Sok Ri for D-Day on March 15, but
found a broached South Korean LST which had remained beached at the landing site for
the previous night. Salvage efforts were undertaken, assisted by SCHENECTADY’s
First Lieutenant, LCR Jenkins, a qualified salvage officer.
Salvage completed, SCHENECTADY beached, off-loaded men and equipment
and then anchored off shore until March 21 when she was detached along with USS
DENVER (LPD 9) to steam to Okinawa. There she offloaded Marines and their
equipment and held liberty call, the first in almost two months for some of the crew.
SCHENECTADY sailed to Pusan, Korea, for a port visit, and during this visit
sailors and embarked Marines participated in Operation Handclasp at Chin Ae Won
Orphanage where they held a barbecue, repaired plumbing, painted facilities and
presented hundreds of gifts to the children. The next day SCHENECTADY participated
in the Cherry Blossom festival at Chin Hae, Republic of Korea, and SCHENECTADY
personnel observed graduation ceremonies at the Republic of Korea Naval Academy,
after which graduates and SCHENECTADY crew held a soccer match.
SCHENECTADY then transited to Subic Bay and then participated in Operation
Tangent Flash 83 at Dingalen Bay, Republic of the Philippines. Further operations
included visits to Hong Kong, Okinawa and back to Subic Bay. From there she transited
to Tinian and Guam, Marianas Islands, and departed from there on June 26 to San Diego.
After her return, SCHENECTADY received word that she had received
COMPHIBRON 3’s prestigious Silver Sabre award for the most ESWS qualified
personnel in the squadron during the preceding six months.
Captaincy of CDR D. L. Ihlenfeld
On October 16, 1983, CDR D. L. Ihlenfeld relieved CDR J. W. Athanson as
An Amphibious Training Readiness Inspection was held on December 5, and
December 16, after which SCHENECTADY remained in port for holiday leave and
The New Year started quickly with Amphibious Refresher Training being held
January 23 to February 10, 1984.
After serving as visit ship at San Diego’s Broadway Pier (where over 2,000
visitors touring the ship), SCHENECTADY got underway on February 13 along with
other units of PHIBRON 3 to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where she enjoyed 5 days of
liberty, along with acting again as a visit ship, with over 1,000 visitors touring the ship.
The next several months were spent in and around San Diego dealing with local
operations and inspections. A highlight was hosting the 26th Annual International Senior
Officer Amphibious Planning Course, during which officers from Thailand, Malaysia,
Philippines, Korea, Indonesia and Greece were represented.
On May 30, 1984 SCHENECTADY departed on her eighth Westpac
deployment along with other units of PHIBRON 3 consisting of USS NEW ORLEANS
(LPH 11), USS DENVER (LPD 9), USS VANCOUVER (LPD 2), USS ALAMO (LSD
33) and USS MOBILE (LKA 115). After leaving San Diego, the squadron participated
in an exercise off Southern California, carrying US Marines and units of the Canadian
Army. She then joined with other ships from Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand
in RIMPAC 84. During this exercise, SCHENECTADY suffered a broken crankshaft in
#2C main engine, and operated with only 5 main propulsion engines for the remainder of
After spending some time in Pearl Harbor, SCHENECTADY was again
underway for Exercise Bell Volcano in the vicinity of Kahoolawe Island. She then joined
the ENTERPRISE Battle Group to transit to Guam, Marianas Islands. From July 2 to
July 26, SCHENECTADY participated in several exercises in the Marianas Islands,
including having British Broadcasting Company personnel on board to film the
reenactment of Guam’s liberation from the Japanese, part of the celebration of Guam’s
40th anniversary of liberation on July 20th, 1944.
SCHENECTADY then went to Subic Bay for upkeep and then proceeded to
Singapore for a port visit.
On August 22, SCHENECTADY, USS NEW ORLEANS, USS MOBILE and
USS DENVER departed Singapore for Mombasa, Kenya, with a brief stop at Diego
Garcia. During this transit, the ship crossed the equator on August 26. In Kenya,
SCHENECTADY had a 5 day port visit and then participated in Exercise Valiant Usher
84-10K. Following the exercise, the 4 ships returned to the Pacific and a port visit at
Hong Kong. While in transit through the straits of Malacca, SCHENECTADY sponsored
a fund raising marathon run and raised $1,900 for the survivors of a typhoon that had hit
the Philippines earlier that month. During this marathon, sailors and embarked Marines
ran for 48 hours straight in 15 minute intervals, supported by their crewmembers. During
the marathon, Commander Amphibious Squadron 3 rode in SCHENECTADY.
During the port visit to Hong Kong, SCHENECTADY crewmembers participated
in the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Drive. After 5 days in Hong Kong,
SCHENECTADY steamed to the Philippines and participated in an amphibious assault
exercise at Zambales. She also participated in the 40th anniversary celebration of the
Allied Leyte invasion on October 20, with several thousand spectators, including
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, present.
Her last evolution in the Westpac deployment was to participate in Exercise
Valiant Blitz 85-1KS during which she embarked 200 South Korean troops.
SCHENECTADY landed her South Korean troops at Tok Sok Ri, after which she went to
Pohang for a 2 day port visit.
SCHENECTADY and the other Phibron 3 ships departed immediately for San
Diego, but the track of Typhoon Bill necessitated diverting the squadron to Sasebo for a
short stay, after which the ships again departed for San Diego, arriving on December 6.
During this transit she sustained a casualty to #1A main engine, and the ship steamed the
rest of the way on 4 main engines.
SCHENECTADY started 1985 in upkeep status, preparing for her upcoming
Regular Overhaul. This preparation consisted in large part in training for her crew in
how to manage and control an overhaul as well as off-loading ammunition, fuel and other
hazardous cargo. The ship entered overhaul on February 4. ARCWEL Corporation of
San Diego was the general contractor. On February 18 she crew transferred to a living
barge, YRBM-32 as the ship no longer could support habitability requirements.
On February 22 the ship was moved to dry dock to allow work on the hull,
propulsion shafting, propellers, rudders, sea values and fuel and water tanks. This work
was complete on March 11, and the ship was moved to the Naval Station pier 9. On May
29 the crew returned from the living barge to the ship.
Part of the overhaul was installation of a large mini-computer loaded with the
Navy’s SNAP system -- Ship’s Non-Tactical Automated Processing System. This system
allowed officers, chief petty officers and LPO’s the opportunity to transfer administrative
files, maintenance records, supply records and ship’s configuration records onto hard
disks, floppy disks and magnetic tape for easy access, updating and query.
The ship spent the summer finishing the overhaul, and conducted its first sea trial
on October 3-4. The ship’s overhaul was officially ended on October 24 after having
completed its full power run to test all 6 main propulsion engines.
Next from October 28 to December 3 the ship conducted Training Readiness
Evaluation, the key preparation for Refresher Training. In addition, from December 14 to
17, Amphibious Training Readiness was conducted in preparation for Amphibious
Captaincy of CDR L. F. Mahoney
On January 3, 1986, CDR D. L. Mahoney relieved CDR D. L. Ihlenfeld as
From February 3 to February 6, 1986 SCHENECTADY underwent Amphibious
Refresher Training, and then went to Seal Beach, CA on February 7 to load ammunition.
En route back to San Diego she conducted a burial at sea ceremony for a former Navy
petty officer. Amphibious Refresher Training was completed during the time period
from March 10 to 20. Due to bad weather and bad sea conditions, some of this training
had to be postponed. These postponed elements were finally completed starting April 21,
after which SCHENECTADY participated in Exercise Kernel Usher 86-1.
On May 5 she was underway to participate in Operation Kernel Blitz 86-2. On
the night of May 6 fire broke out in SCHENECTADY’s Number 1 engine room, and
spread quickly to Number 2 engine room. The ship lost both electrical power and main
propulsion, and, at the mercy of the seas, started rolling up to 50o. The fire was
extinguished early in the morning of May 7, and SCHENECTADY returned to San Diego
under her own power to repair the damage.
SCHENECTADY was in a restricted availability from May 7 to July 28, and USS
FRESNO (LST 1182) relieved her of her scheduled Westpac deployment. She conducted
sea trials from July 29 to 30.
On August 23, SCHENECTADY started her Ninth Westpac deployment. She
loaded vehicles and construction equipment which were destined for Pearl Harbor or
From September 2 to 5, SCHENECTADY was underway in the Hawaiian
operating areas to conduct amphibious training with the First Marine Amphibious
Brigade and to conduct deck landing qualification services for First MAB helicopter
Continuing west, SCHENECTADY came under the operational control of
Commander Seventh Fleet on September 13. Her first stop was in Apia, Western
Samoa where she offloaded the Navy Mobile Construction Battalion 40 Civic Action
Team, a team which had been on board since San Diego. On September 17
SCHENECTADY hosted a VIP luncheon for the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime
Minister of Western Samoa.
From Samoa, SCHENECTADY went to Subic Bay, PI and embarked the USMC
Battalion Landing Team 2/9. SCHENECTADY then sailed for Okinawa, Yokohama,
Japan, Yokosuka, Japan and from October 20 to November 2 she participated in TRAEX
87-1 in the Subic Bay area during which she was the first LST in several years to
successfully beach and retract at Zambales.
Following this exercise, SCHENECTADY sailed to Subic Bay, Okinawa, and
Inchon. In Okinawa, she embarked a USMC Shipboard Embarkation unit which required
transit to Honiara Guadalcanal. She transited there from November 26 to December 5
during which she crossed the equator.
Leaving Guadalcanal, SCHENECTADY transited back to Okinawa and then to
Hong Kong, where she spent Christmas. From Hong Kong she transited to Subic Bay
where she remained until the New Year, 1987.
In 1987 the ship visited Korea, Yokohama, Japan, Yokosuka, Japan and Sasebo,
Japan. While underway to Pusan, Korea on January 25 SCHENECTADY conducted
flight operations with Army CH-60 “Blackhawk” helicopters, the first time that Army
CH-60’s landed on an LST. She completed her Westpac deployment and departed for
San Diego on February 4, arriving February 25.
After a post-deployment leave and upkeep period, SCHENECTADY commenced
training in the SOCAL operation areas, and also embarked a Coast Guard law
enforcement detachment, whose mission was to conduct drug interdiction operations
using SCHENECTADY assets such as boats, radios and signaling equipment. During
one operation the ship prepared for the upcoming ISIC Engineering Readiness
Assessment (IERA) with three Prospective Commanding Officers aboard as part of the
Senior Officers Shipboard Material Readiness Course. The IERA was conducted from
May 18 to 22 which SCHENECTADY successfully passed. During this time
SCHENECTADY also was evaluated as part of an Aviation Readiness Evaluation which
she also passed.
SCHENECTADY continued her regimen of training, including flight operations;
nuclear, biological and chemical warfare training; and a full power trial (which required
running all 6 main engines at maximum RPM’s for 1.5 hours).
On August 27 RADM Francis Donovan, Commander Amphibious Group Three
conducted an awards ceremony on board during which he recognized QM2 James B.
Harmon as COMPHIBGRU THREE Sailor of the Quarter.
On September 8, SCHENECTADY got underway for Operation Kernel Blitz 87-
2. She loaded construction equipment and 23 personnel from Amphibious Construction
Battalion One along with amphibious equipment and 200 Marines. During this exercise
the ship participated in three amphibious assault vehicle launches and utilization of the
amphibious assault bulk fuel system which requires a two point moor for hookup and
pumping of cargo fuel ashore. This operation ended on September 21.
Following this SCHENECTADY entered a Phased Maintenance Availability at
National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, San Diego, where she remained until 1988.
On January 27, 1988 SCHENECTADY successfully passed sea trials, and
returned to a berth at the Naval Station San Diego, after which she continued preparations
of her pre-deployment evaluations.
On March 14, SCHENECTADY started Refresher Training. The first week
showed slow progress, but work and practice during the weekend of March 19-20
corrected all the material discrepancies, so that the ship had a very successful second
week and passed the final REFTRA battle problem successfully.
From April 12 to 14, the ship completed the Operational Propulsion Plant
Examination and then transited to San Francisco for firefighting training and a short
liberty. During the transit back, SCHENECTADY embarked Coast Guard law
enforcement personnel to attempt to detect any drug shipments.
Captaincy of CDE J. A. Meyertholen
On May 26, 1988 CDR J. A. Meyertholen relieved CDR L. F. Mahoney as
On June 13 the ship commenced Amphibious Refresher Training, which would
last until June 24. This training included 8 beachings, boat operations, LCU marriages
and flight operations.
On August 15, 1988 SCHENECTADY got underway for her Tenth Westpac
Deployment. As she left San Diego she rendezvoused with the USS CAYUGA (LST
1186) who would assume tactical command. The ships arrived in Yokosuka on
SCHENECTADY loaded Marine troops and participated in Operation Valiant
Usher 88-7 at Iwo Jima from September 18 to 20. Following this exercise,
SCHENECTADY visited many typical Westpac countries including Okinawa, Korea and
Japan. Then SCHENECTADY participated in Operation Valiant Blitz 89-1, a multi-
nation amphibious exercise which included plane guard duties, boat operations,
beachings, flight quarters and general quarters. Communications problems with Korean
units were one of the key problems initially identified, but they were subsequently
From the period November 17-28 SCHENECTADY was in Sasebo. During this
visit RADM Mauz, Commander Seventh Fleet visited the ship and presented awards to
EMCS(SW) Maynardo Lontoc for his work as the ship’s Maintenance Officer, and to
BT2 Eddie Kelly and BT2 Doyle Bohaychyk for their efforts during recent completed
SCHENECTADY then took part in Exercise Valiant Mark 89-1 during which the
ship utilized a newly developed Civilian Evacuation Bill and participated in non-
SCHENECTADY was then underway for Hong Kong where she would arrive on
December 29 and stay until the New Year.
On January 3, 1989, SCHENECTADY departed Hong Kong in company with
USS CAYUGA (LST 1186) for San Diego via Okinawa and Yokosuka. Soon after
getting underway, the two ships were informed of a small freighter taking on water near
by. The two ships participated in search and rescue operations until relieved of that duty
by officials onboard local Hong Kong coastal patrol vessels.
On February 15, 1989 SCHENECTADY arrived in San Diego and commenced a
post-deployment upkeep and leave period. She then offloaded ammunition and fuel in
preparation for her Phased Maintenance Availability to be conducted by National Steel
and Shipbuilding Company from April 17 to July 13. Following this, she conducted
training and preparations for her next Amphibious Refresher Training, which commenced
on August 7. Amphibious Refresher Training is two weeks in length, but this time
SCHENECTADY participated in the first week, then delayed the second week while she
went through an Interim Engineering Readiness Assessment, and then returned for the
second week of Refresher Training, completing this on September 9.
On September 18, SCHENECTADY left port to participate in PACEX-89, the
largest naval exercise in recent years. Three battle groups and one amphibious readiness
group participated in exercises over the entire eastern pacific. SCHENECTADY, along
with several other amphibious ships and escorts, transited to the Alaskan Aleutian Island
chain. She was the only ship to fully succeed in her part of the amphibious assault on
Amchitka Island during which she steamed into the restricted waters of Constantine
Harbor and launched her amphibious assault vehicles to the shore.
Following this exercise, SCHENECTADY visited Seattle during her transit south
back to San Diego. Shortly after leaving Seattle, SCHENECTADY received a high
precedence message that informed her that San Francisco had suffered a major
earthquake and she was ordered to proceed there “at best speed”. SCHENECTADY
arrived at San Francisco and provided numerous acts of assistance to the city.
The rest of the year was spent in preparing for and undergoing an inspection by
the Operational Propulsion Plant Examining Board and the Training Readiness
Evaluation, both of which were passed satisfactorily.
January 1990 started with Refresher Training on January 3, finishing on January
12 when SCHENECTADY successfully completed the “Mass Conflagration Battle
Problem”. Immediately following, SCHENECTADY underwent Inspection by the Board
of Inspection and Survey during which every piece of equipment was tested and every
inch of the ship was inspected. The Board concluded that the ship was fit for further
service. Following that, the Supply Department underwent the Supply Management
Assessment, which it passed successfully.
As a reprieve from all these inspections, SCHENECTADY got underway in
March and paid a port visit to Newport, Oregon from March 23-25.
From April 9 to 22, SCHENECTADY participated in RIMPAC-90 during which
she conducted amphibious assault vehicle launches, underway replenishments and multi-
ship maneuvering exercises.
On April 27 VADM Nyqist visited the ship to see the ship’s capabilities. He also
reenlisted PN1 Meunier, and spoke to the officers and chief petty officers.
Captaincy of CDR W. L. Gavett, Jr.
On May 8, 1990 CDR W. L. Gavett, Jr. relieved CDR J. A. Myertholen as
On June 1, 1990 the ship left port and commenced her transit to the Western
Pacific for her eleventh Westpac deployment. While in Pearl Harbor from June 8 to 12,
the ship offloaded items of the opportune lift from San Diego, and loaded the material
from Project Handclasp, the Navy’s overseas “people-to-people” program which
distributes humanitarian material to ill, needy and poor people of the underprivileged
nations that the ships visit. The ship also embarked one officer and 12 enlisted from
Navy Mobile Construction Battalion Seven.
After leaving Pearl Harbor, SCHENECTADY sailed for good will visits to five
South Pacific ports. These visits were to Rarotonga, Cook Islands; Apia, Western
Samoa; Nuku Alofa, Tonga; Funafuti Atoll, Tuvalu Islands; and Port Moresby, Papua
New Guinea. During these visits the Navy Mobile Construction Battalion and ship’s
personnel constructed, repaired and painted schools and government buildings, and
performed other ready projects. They also entertained Ambassadors and heads of state,
including the birthday celebration of the King of Tonga. The ship also had to navigate
difficult waters between islands and into difficult harbors.
SCHENECTADY then went to Subic Bay and subsequently on to Sasebo, but her
inport upkeep period in Sasebo was cut short, and on August 21 she sailed to Okinawa to
load a Marine Regimental Landing Team. She then sailed to Subic Bay to side-load
causeways, and, on August 27, in company with USS DUBUQUE (LPD 8) and USS
SAN BERNARDINO (LST 1189), SCHENECTADY was underway for the North
Arabian Sea. This transit was marked by rough seas, making for a turbulent ride for the
ship’s company and the 390 embarked Marines.
On September 8, 1990 the ship shifted to the operational control of the Navy’s
Central Command, and the Amphibious Ready Group was ordered to proceed to the
Persian Gulf and the Saudi Arabian port of Al Jubayl, only 150 miles from Kuwait, a
country recently occupied by Iraq. There, as part of Operation Desert Shield,
SCHENECTADY offloaded the Marine detachment and received a visit from VADM
Mauz, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.
Following this offload, the SCHENECTADY remained in the Gulf area to
provide services as required, mostly spending this time at anchor, although two short in
port visits to Bahrain were arranged.
On October 4, the ship was relieved of her duty and ordered to return to San
Diego. The crew enjoyed liberty in Phuket, Thailand and Singapore on the return visit, as
well as visits to Subic Bay and Pearl Harbor. She arrived in San Diego on November 30,
and spent the rest of the year in port.
SCHENECTADY’s crew started preparing the ship for a six month Docking and
Phased Maintenance Availability which would start in early 1991. She offloaded all her
ammunition and fuel, and was towed to the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company’s
drydock on January 15. Projects completed included installation of a Halon® fire
suppression system, overhaul of the governors for the main engines, and an upgrade for
the radar and communications equipment. The ship had a Light Off Examination by the
Propulsion Examining Board which certified the engineering plant safe for operation, and
she left the shipyard on June 7.
Sea Trials commenced on June 8 which tested all the ship’s equipment and also
the crew, both experienced hands who had not used some of the equipment for 6 months
and new crewmembers.
SCHENECTADY then went to Concord, CA for an ammunition on-load and a
three day visit to San Francisco, returning on August 9. Following a short in port period,
the ship then commenced the Training and Readiness Evaluation on August 15 and 16,
certifying the ship as ready to undergo refresher training.
On September 23, SCHENECTADY commenced a two-week refresher training
period in San Diego. Having successfully completed this comprehensive testing exercise,
SCHENECTADY spent the rest of the year and the early months of 1992 in and off the
coast of San Diego.
Captaincy of CDR W. D. Kelley
On March 13, 1992 CDR W. D. Kelley relieved CDR W. L. Gavette as
On April 12 the ship embarked 214 Marines and got underway for Fleetex 92.
These exercises were conducted off Camp Pendleton and at San Clemente Island.
Captaincy of CDR J. B. Wilkinson, Jr.
On May 20, 1992 CDR J. B. Wilkinson, Jr. relieved CDR W. D. Kelley as
On May 28, 1992 the ship got underway for her twelfth Westpac deployment.
She went to Camp Pendleton to load 14 amphibious assault vehicles and then joined USS
TARAWA (LPH 1), USS FORT FISHER (LSD 40) and USS OGDEN (LPD 5) for the
transit. She stopped as usual in Pearl Harbor for a few days, and then on to Okinawa to
participate in Operation Valiant Usher 92-7. On June 20 the ship launched the
amphibious assault vehicles in conjunction with the first stage of a simulated
Noncombatant Evacuation Operation of U.S. citizens, VIP’s and foreign nationals.
Personnel from Kadena Air Force Base and the Okinawa White Beach Facility acted as
the “evacuees”. While on board the evacuees were treated with refreshments and were
administratively processed and given a short series of briefs.
On June 23 the ship went to Hong Kong for a port visit. While in Hong Kong
there was a typhoon alert, and the ship had to make preparations to get underway.
Fortunately, the typhoon altered course and the ship could complete her port visit. From
Hong Kong, SCHENECTADY transited too Singapore.
From Singapore, the ship traveled to the Arabian Gulf. During this transit,
SCHENECTADY underwent heavy weather, and endured 30 to 40 degree rolls almost
continually for 3 days. A thorough inspection indicated that she had withstood the heavy
seas with no damage.
Arriving in the Arabian Sea on July 22, she conducted underway refueling at sea
and vertical replenishment operations near Bahrain, and then visited Muscat, Oman.
During this visit, 27 sailors and 11 marines volunteered their time to build a local
baseball field, a concession stand and to install toilets and sinks at the US Embassy
Captaincy of CDR L. Bernstein
On July 30 1992, CDR L. Bernstein relieved CDR J. B. Wilkinson as
On August 3 the ship arrived at Kuwait and continued preparations for Operation
Eager Mace (a joint exercise between US and Kuwaiti forces) which commenced the next
day. The ship entered Kuwait harbor and launched all 14 of her amphibious assault
vehicles 400 yards off the beach. The operation was featured on the front page of the
local and national newspapers. The ship then remained anchored off the coast of Kuwait
for the next two weeks while the Marines and the Kuwaiti army conducted maneuvers
along the Kuwait/Iraq border.
On August 15 the ship got underway for Jebel Ali, a port in the United Arab
Emirates (UAE). This was the ship’s first upkeep and maintenance period during her
deployment, and the crew took advantage of this time to repair gear, but also to visit the
UAE and soak up local culture.
On August 26 the ship departed for Saudi Arabia where she embarked 100 Saudi
Arabian marines who were later landed by amphibious assault vehicles. On September 5
the ship got underway again for Jebel Ali where, while pier side, the ship served as a
conduit for marine vehicles which required washing and agricultural inspection in
preparation for an exercise in Australia. On September 10 the ship got underway for
Perth, Australia, but as the Amphibious Ready Group exited the Arabian Gulf it received
orders to proceed to Somalia to assist in the United Nations relief effort there.
Once arriving off Africa, SCHENECTADY entered Mombasa, Kenya to take on
and shuttle cargo to the other ships of the Amphibious Ready Group. On September 20,
she departed Mombasa and proceeded to a location off the coast of Somalia where she
joined the relief effort known as Operation Restore Hope. While enroute she crossed the
equator and held a Crossing the Line Ceremony.
On October 1 the other ships of the Amphibious Ready Group departed for
Australia, but SCHENECTADY was detached to Lumut, Malaysia for a maintenance
repair availability, and then on New Guinea to support WWII 50th anniversary
celebrations in Port Moresby. While in Lumut, SCHENECTADY had her entire
superstructure and weather decks preserved and painted, and received an upgrade to the
wardroom and the mess decks. She also conducted three social events including a VIP
luncheon, an evening social for Royal Malaysian officers and shipyard supervisors, and
an all-day picnic sports event with the Malaysian Navy.
SCHENECTADY departed Lumut and proceeded to Singapore and then on to
Port Moresby, arriving there on November 4. While in Port Moresby, she participated in
the celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of General Douglas MacArthur’s
shift of his WWII headquarters from Australia to Port Moresby. The highlight of the
ceremony was an evening reception on the flight deck for nearly 250 distinguished
visitors (including nearly 20 ambassadors from nations representing 5 continents).
On November 7 the ship departed Port Moresby enroute to Pearl Harbor where
she would rendezvous with the other ships from the amphibious ready group. She arrived
at Pearl Harbor on November 15 and then got underway for San Diego.
On November 25 she anchored at Naval Station San Diego, and spent the rest of
the year in port.
In 1993, SCHENECTADY was scheduled for a Planned Maintenance
Availability, but due to the December 15, 1993 scheduled decommissioning this was
changed to a three month Self-Help Maintenance Availability. The ship also underwent
an Auxiliary Boiler Inspection, and a CHT System Certification procedure. An ISIC
Light-Off Assessment was conducted that resulted in an evaluation as the best
engineering inspection in Phibron 7 in over two years.
In February the ship held an Aviation Assist Visit designed to test the ship’s
ability to recover and refuel helicopters including fighting aviation fires.
SCHENECTADY performed so well that the visit was upgraded to an Aviation
In April, the ship’s mess decks were completely remodeled and the crew’s lounge
was upgraded to include top quality furniture and a wide screen television.
In May the ship had an inspection by the Board of Inspection and Survey. The
results were excellent.
In June SCHENECTADY filled in for another ship to supply short-fused USMC
training services at Camp Pendleton, CA. She also was recertified for towing operations,
which required the ship to rig to be towed and to also actually tow another vessel.
On July 16 the SCHENECTADY got underway for her last operational
commitment. She was to escort the USS BOLSTER (ARS 38) and USS SALVOR (ARS
52), towing ships who were charged with towing the ex-USS TRITON (SSN 586) and the
ex-USS RAY (SSN 653) (unfueled and unmanned nuclear submarines) from Rodman,
Panama to San Diego. On the way to Panama, the ship paid a 4 day port visit to
Mazatlan, Mexico. In Mazatlan the ship held a luncheon for local dignitaries, offloaded
35 pallets of Project Handclasp materials, participated in a community relations project to
paint a school building and held sports events against members of the Mexican Navy and
Army. On July 31 the ship arrived in Rodman and rendezvoused with the towing vessels
and their tows. She stayed in Rodman for a few days of liberty and then departed on
August 4 for San Diego. During this transit, the ships had to evade Tropical Storm Gregg
(which eventually evolved into a hurricane).
After arriving in San Diego, the crew prepared all spaces for decommissioning
closeout and acceptance by the Navy Inactivation Ship’s Maintenance Facility.
On December 15, 1993 the USS SCHENECTADY (LST1185) was
decommissioned in a ceremony held in San Diego, California. The principal speaker was
CAPT G. V. Galdorisi, Commander Amphibious Squadron Seven.
Operation Resultant Fury
Following her decommissioning, the ex-SCHENECTADY was part of the
inactive fleet at Pearl Harbor. However, in late 2004 the SCHENECTADY was prepared
for her last service to the country. She was stripped of all equipment and material, and
was cleaned to remove all hazardous material. She was then towed to sea and was sunk
by three B-52’s on November 22 and 23. Two flew non-stop from Anderson Air Force
Base, Guam and hit the ship with at least 7 2,000 pound satellite guided bombs, and one
flew from Barksdale Air Force Base, Shreveport, LA and finished the sinking with laser
guided missiles. The operation was part of a two day exercise between the US Navy and
US Air Force to demonstrate the new Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System
developed by Grumman Corporation. This system allows the military to launch a bomb
far from a target and then have surveillance aircraft guide it to a moving target using
radar. The system also demonstrated that it could differentiate the target of interest from
among multiple possible targets.
Attachment 1 -- Biographies of Commanding Officers
Following are abbreviated biographies of SCHENECTADY’s Commanding
Officers. Biographies were often included with the annual ship’s history, and much
material has been taken from them. In addition, when copies of change of command
programs were filed, I was able to get biographical information from them. Of course,
neither includes information from periods following these officers’ services on
SCHENECTADY, so I have researched several web sites in order to try to obtain further
CDR D. E. Sigsworth
CAPT Sigsworth enlisted in the navy during WWII, but the war ended and he was
discharged from active duty. He attended college and then graduated from class number
1 of Officer Candidates School in NEWPORT, RI and was commissioned ensign in 1951.
His assignments include:
USS HARWOOD (DD 861)
USS HAAS (DE 424)
Executive Officer, USS ESTEEM (MSO 438)
Commanding Officer, USS OUTAGAMIE COUNTY (LST 1073)
Executive Officer, USS HASSAYAMPA (AO 145)
Commanding Officer, USS SCHENECTADY (LST 1185)
Commanding Officer, Beach Jumper Unit 1
Assistant Director, Naval Intelligence
Commanding Officer, USS DUBUQUE (LPD 8)
Chief of Staff, 11th Naval District
CAPT Sigsworth passed away January 15, 2007
CDR R. J. Czar
CDR Czar served as an enlisted sailor from 1946 to 1956 when he graduated from
Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as an ensign. His assignments include:
Boat Group Commander and Navigator, USS OLMSTED (APA 188)
Plans Officer, Naval Beach Group 2
Chief Engineer, USS DEWEY (DLG 14)
Commanding Officer, USS SHAKORI (ATF-162). During his command,
the SHAKORI towed a salvage craft from Scotland to Subic Bay,
Republic of the Philippines via the Indian Ocean and then completed an
around the world trip.
Staff, Commander-in-Chief, US Atlantic Fleet
Officer in Charge, Naval Beach Group 1
Executive Officer, USS FOX (DLG 33)
Commanding Officer, USS SCHENECTADY (LST 1185)
Amphibious Warfare Command, Coronado, CA
CDR Czar passed away September 20, 2007.
CDR K. L. Matteson
CDR M. H. V. Nolan
LCRD D. R. Pauling
CDR Pauling enlisted in the Navy in 1962 and was commissioned in 1963 after
attending Officer Candidate School. His assignments include:
Photo interpreter with Amphibious Group 2
Operations Officer, USS KRISHNA (ARL 38), An Thoi, Viet Nam
Market Time operations
Navigator/Personnel Officer, USS DECATUR (DDG 31)
Attended Destroyer School in Newport, RI
Chief Engineer, USS STORMES (DD 780)
Defense Intelligence Agency, National Military Command Center Watch
Chief Engineer, USS SHREVEPORT (LPD 12)
Executive Officer and Commanding Officer, USS SCHENECTADY (LST
Assistant Operations for Scheduling, Naval Intelligence Support Center
Commanding Officer, USS FORT SNELLING (LSD 30)
CNO/SECNAV Bagman for Congressional Hearings (OPNAV-902).
Accompanied CNO’s Hayward, Watkins and Trost to budget hearings
before US Congress
Defense Intelligence Office for Unified/Specified Commands, Defense
Intelligence Agency, Washington, DC
CDR D. E. Neuman
CRD F. A. Giorgio, Jr.
CDR J. W. Athanson
CDR. D. L. Ihlenfeld
CDR Ihlenfeld was commissioned as an Ensign following graduation from
Officers Candidate School in 1967. His assignments include:
Communications Officer, USS OUTAGAMIE COUNTY (LST 1073)
Communications Officer, USS CANNOLE (FF 1056)
Chief Engineer, USS HARLAN R. DICKSON (DD 708)
Weapons Officer, USS ROBERT A. OWENS (DD 827)
First Lieutenant, USS LA MOURE COUNTY (LST 1094)
Member, Technical Assistant Team, Tehran, Iran
Combat Information Center Officer and Navigator, USS GUAM (LPH 9)
Executive Officer, USS MOBILE (LKA 115)
Commanding Officer, USS SCHENECTADY (LST 1185)
Chief Staff Officer, Commander Amphibious Squadron Seven
Commanding Officer, USS JUNEAU (LPD 10)
CDR L. F. Mahoney
CDR Mahoney was commissioned as an Ensign following graduation from
Officers Candidate School in 1969. His assignments include:
Combat Information Center Officer, USS KANSAS CITY (AOP 3)
Naval Advisory Group, Republic of Viet Nam
First Lieutenant, USS MYLES C. FOX (DD 829)
Weapons Officer, USS MEYERKORD (FF 1058)
Combat Systems Instructor, Surface Warfare Officers’ School (Basic)
Operations Officer, USS DENVER (LPD 9)
Executive Officer, USS MOUNT VERNON (LSD 39)
Flag Secretary, Commander Amphibious Group Three
Commanding Officer, USS SCHENECTADY (LST 1185)
CDE J. A. Meyertholen
CDR Meyertholen was commissioned in 1970 through the Naval ROTC program
at Villanova University. His assignments include:
USS DAHLGREN (DLG 12)
USS SPIEGEL GROVE (LSD 32)
Operations Officer, USS NEWMAN K. PERRY (DD 883)
Engineering Officer, USS PORTLAND (LSD 37)
Executive Officer, USS SPARTANBURG COUNTY (LST 1192)
Staff, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet
Center for Naval War Studies, Naval War College, Newport, RI
Commanding Officer, USS SCHENECTADY (LST 1185)
CDR W. L. Gavett, Jr.
CDR Gavett graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1972. His assignments
Electronics Material Officer and Electronic Warfare Officer, USS FLOYD
B. PARKS (DD 884)
Communications Officer, USS MARS (AFS 1)
Executive Officer, USS MATACO (ATF 86)
Operations Officer, USS BADGER (FF 1071)
Operations Officer, USS KISKA (AE 35)
Executive Officer, USS PEORIA (LST 1183)
Communications and Administrative Officer, Coastal Squadron Three
Analysis Officer and Chief Staff Officer, Fleet electronic Warfare Group
Commanding Officer, USS SCHENECTADY (LST 1185)
CDR W. D. Kelley
CDR Kelley enlisted in the Navy as a seaman recruit at Boise, Idaho in 1966. He
was assigned to the USS VESUVIUS (AE 15) and completed two tours to Viet Nam. He
then attended Swift Boat School and was assigned to Coastal Squadron 1, Republic of
Viet Nam. In 1970 he was released from active duty and attended the University of
Montana where he participated in Naval Reserve. He was selected for the Reserve
Officer Candidate program, and graduated from Officer Candidate School in 1973. His
subsequent assignments include:
Assistant Plans Officer, Communications Watch Officer and Office in
Charge of Naval Telecommunications Center Agnano, naval
Communications Area Master Station, Naples
Communications Officer, USS IWO JIMA (LPH 2)
Operations Officer, USS HEPBURN (FF 1055)
Engineering Officer, USS TUSCALOOSA (LST 1187)
First Lieutenant, USS MIDWAY (CV 41)
Executive Officer, USS FRESNO (LST 1182)
Plans and Operations Officer, Commander Amphibious Squadron One
Executive Officer, Naval Amphibious School, Coronado, CA
Commanding Officer, USS SCHENECTADY (LST 1185)
CDR J. B. Wilkinson, Jr.
CRD Wilkinson graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1972. His
Gunnery Officer, First Lieutenant and Navigator, USS BAGLEY (FF
Weapons Officer, USS DAVID R. RAY (DD 971)
Operations Officer, USS THOMASTON (LSD 28)
Head, Ship Manpower Requirements Section, Office of the Chief of Naval
Operations, Washington, DC
Combat Systems Officer, USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA 3)
Executive Officer, USS DENVER (LPD 9)
US Central Command, TAMPA, FL
Commanding Officer, USS BARBOUR COUNTY (LST 1195)
Chief Staff Officer, Commander Amphibious Squadron Three
Commanding Officer, USS SCHENECTADY (LST 1185)
CRD L. Bernstein
CDR Bernstein received his commission in 1975 following graduation from
college. His assignments include:
Electronic Warfare Officer, Communications Officer, Combat Information
Center Officer, USS CLAUDE V. RICKETTS (DDG 5)
Operations Officer, USS EDWARD MCDONNEL (FF 1043)
First Lieutenant, USS IWO JIMA (LPH 2)
Executive Officer, USS SHENANDOAH (AD 44)
Instructor, Surface Warfare Officer School
Scheduler, Commander of Naval Surface force Atlantic Operation
Commanding Officer, USS SCHENECTADY (LST 1185)
Attachment 2 -- Summary Data
1) Westpac Deployments (80 months)
1) First -- October 1, 1971 to August 6, 1972 (10 months)
2) Second -- August 22, 1973 to March 6, 1974 (6 months)
3) Third -- October 4, 1975 to May 25, 1976 (8 months)
4) Fourth -- March 29, 1977 to November 7, 1977 (7 months)
5) Fifth -- March 1, 1979 to September 21, 1979 (7 months)
6) Sixth -- June 24, 1981 to December 23, 1981 (6 months)
7) Seventh -- January 30, 1983 to July, 1983 (6 months)
8) Eighth -- May 30, 1984 to December 6, 1984 (6 months)
9) Ninth -- August 23, 1986 to February 25, 1987 (6 months)
10) Tenth -- August 15, 1988 to February 15, 1989 (6 months)
11) Eleventh -- June 1, 1990 to November 31, 1990 (6 months)
12) Twelfth -- May 28, 1992 to November 25, 1992 (6 months)
2) Countries Visited (listed generally from west to east)
2) Amchitka Island, Alaska
3) Rarotonga Island, Cook Islands
4) Apia, Western Samoa
5) Nuku Alofa, Tonga
6) Funafuti Atoll, Tuvalu Islands
7) Kwajalein, Marshall Islands
8) Eniwetok, Marshall Islands
9) Guam, Mariana Islands
10) Saipan, Mariana Islands
11) Tinian, Mariana Islands
12) Philippine Islands
13) South Korea
14) Iwo Jima Island
17) Hong Kong
19) Viet Nam
23) Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
24) Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands
26) Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory
27) Muscat, Oman
28) United Arab Emirates
30) Saudi Arabia
3) Medals Earned
1) Combat Action Ribbon
2) Navy “E” Ribbon
3) Navy Expeditionary Medal
4) National Defense Service Medal (2)
5) Viet Nam Service Medal (2)
6) Southwest Asia Service Medal (2)
7) Humanitarian Service Medal
8) Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (1 Gold Star)
9) Republic of Viet Nam Campaign Medal
4) Commissioned Life Span (162 months)
1) Commissioned -- June 13, 1970
2) Decommissioned -- December 15, 1993
3) Sunk -- November 24, 2004